May 7-10, 2018

Rosemont, Illinois

Donald Stephens Convention Center

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Session 16

When FDA Comes Knocking: How the Pathogens in your Drain Could Lead to Criminal Charges

The vast majority of foodborne illnesses in the CDC’s PulseNet database remain unsolved. This means there are many food companies unknowingly processing and selling contaminated foods that are making people sick. To locate the strains of bacteria that caused these unsolved illnesses, FDA will be swabbing your environment during your next routine inspection. When FDA arrives to swab, will your company be prepared?

Learning Objectives:

  • FDA’s new policy to swab food processing environments during routine inspections.
  • The use of Whole Genome Sequencing to analyze positive environmental findings.
  • The regulatory and criminal consequences if pathogens are found during routine inspections.


  • Shawn Stevens, National Food Industry Lawyer, Food Industry Counsel, LLC
  • Peter Gerner-Smidt, MD, DSc, Chief, CDC Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch
  • Hal King, Ph.D., CEO, Public Health Innovations LLC (PHI)
  • Jeff Steger, Assistant Director, Consumer Protection Branch, U.S. Department of Justice 

Go to complete schedule